Tag Archives: Aline

A Haunted Harbor

ANTHONY: You learn some crazy shit about those lighthouses. Been up there since when this was all basically England. Since this was all basically Yorkshire, or Shropshire, or some such shit. Like there’s this one out in the harbor? The space right beyond it right, you sail into it, and you can’t hear anything, it’s like a, like a black hole?

Anthony’s referring to the lighthouse in the Boston Harbor called the Boston Light that was originally built in 1716 and a part of the ocean past Little Brewster Island called the “Ghost Walk.” Many legends are connected to the lighthouse and ghost walk. Read this for more info:

Boston Light is the oldest lighthouse in America, originally built in 1716 on Little Brewster Island at the entrance of Boston Harbor. It’s no surprise that a number of legends are associated with such a historic landmark. After all, it has borne witness to countless
shipwrecks near the island as well as the drownings of its first two keepers
shortly after taking their assignments. Many believe that Boston Light is
haunted–and with good reason. Apparitions have been seen drifting through the
lantern room, feline mascots hiss at unseen presences, unexplained footsteps
are sometimes heard, and cold spots have been widely reported.Several miles east of Little Brewster Island, there’s a peculiar area of the ocean that locals call the “Ghost Walk.” Here
there seems to be some sort of atmospheric anomaly that prevents sound from
entering the area. Even the enormous bell from Boston Light cannot be heard in
the Ghost Walk. The phenomena received so much hype in the late 1800s that a
team of students from Massachusetts Institute of Technology was dispatched to
Little Brewster Island for an entire summer to experiment with foghorn signals
in an attempt to reach the area in question. No signal–not even with the
largest horn or siren–was able to penetrate the mysterious sound barrier. It
remains unexplained to this day.

Source: Haunted Massachusetts: Ghosts and Strange
Phenomena of the Bay State by Cheri Revai, p
66-67.

A History of Feeding America’s Children

CLIVE: We was all fired about about LBJ and it was spring time and we thought we was gonna go make a difference and we both signed up to hand out the free lunch.  For the summer, when there’s no school and kids go five, six hours no food cause they ain’t got much at home. Summertime came and they had me drive the van with the lunch and they had Gloria Giosa, once we pulled up to the pool or the playground, hand out the free lunch and we got to talking that summer and turns out we saw a lot more things eye to eye than we even thought—

The National School Lunch Act was passed in 1946 after congress determined that providing school age students with a nutritious meal was important enough to warrant securing federal funds every fiscal year. In addition to federal funds, the states are also required to contribute financially to the operation of the program.

 “The need for a permanent legislative basis for a school lunch program, rather than operating it on a year-to-year basis, or one dependent solely on agricultural surpluses that for a child may be nutritionally unbalanced or nutritionally unattractive, has now become apparent. The expansion of the program has been hampered by lack of basic legislation. If there is an assurance of continuity over a period of years, the encouragement of State contribution and participation in the school lunch program will be of great advantage in expanding the program.

“The national school lunch bill provides basic, comprehensive legislation for aid, in general, to the States in the operation of school lunch programs as permanent and- integral parts of their school systems…. Such aid, heretofore extended by Congress through the Department of Agriculture has, for the past 10 years, proven for exceptional benefit to the children, schools, and agriculture of the country a a whole, but the necessity for now coordinating the work throughout the Nation, and especially to encourage and increase the financial participation and active control by the several States makes it desirable that permanent enabling legislation take the place of the present temporary legislative structure…. The educational features of a properly chosen diet served at school should not be under-emphasized. Not only is the child taught what a good diet consists of, but his parents and family likewise are indirectly instructed.”

There are three types of lunches: Type A, Type B, and Type C. This is a graph that shows types A and B:

                  Type A Type B
Milk, whole 1/2 pint 2 pint
Protein-rich food consisting of any of the following or a combination thereof:

  • Fresh or processed meat, poultry meat,cheese, cooked or canned fish
  • Dry peas or beans or soy beans, cooked
  • Peanut Butter
  • Eggs
2 oz.½ cup

4 tbsp.

1

1 oz.¼ cup

2 tbsp.

1/2

Raw, cooked, or canned vegetables or fruits, or both ¾ cup ½ cup
Bread, muffins or hot bread made of whole grain cereal or enriched flour 1 portion 1 portion
Butter or fortified  margarine 2 tsp 1 tsp.

In 1966, the Child Nutrition Act was passed into law. This law included extending the Special Milk Program, starting the Pilot Breakfast Program, and centralizing all school food programs.  Read more here.

Guidelines for families who qualified for free or reduced lunch had to be established at the beginning of each fiscal year. As of July 1, 1970 the poverty threshold for a family of four was an income of $3,720 or less a year.

In 1968, an amendment to the Child Nutrition Act created the Summer Food Service Program. The SFSP is a federally funded program that provides free lunch for children who live in low-income areas when school is not in session.

The History of the Golf Tee

CLIVE: So all us get happy with Thanksgiving cause of Mr. Lincoln and we spread it around and that’s why it’s just one more thing we add to this country like peanut butter and the golf tee. We invented that shit, the golf tee: look it up, write a book. We—

Dr. George Franklin Grant, the African American man that invented the golf tee, attended Harvard Dental School and graduated in 1870. He saw the need for the invention after being displeased with how the ball traveled after he hit it from a sand mound. Read more about him here.

An excerpt:

Dr. Grant was unhappy with the mess that came with the tee shot. The process of teeing the ball up involved pinching moist sand to fashion a tee. Doing that 18 times a round was enough to annoy Dr. Grant, so he came up with an invention that would forever have an impact. On Dec. 12, 1899, he received U.S. patent No. 638,920, the world’s first patent for a golf tee.

In 1991, nearly a century after his patent, the United States Golf Association finally gave Grant recognition for his contribution to the game of golf.

He also became the first African American professor at Harvard University while creating another invention.

bhm-07-grant

“That ain’t the Bermuda triangle you in…

…that’s the Goddamn middle passage.”

CLIVE: This the middle passage don’t you forget it, instead you ride it, you ride them, get along, don’t get swallowed up, left out at sea.

The middle passage is the second part of the three-part transatlantic trade, which lasted from the 1500s until 1807, when the transatlantic slave trade ended. Here are a few excerpts from this longer explanation.

The captives were about to embark on the infamous Middle Passage, so called
because it was the middle leg of a three-part voyage — a voyage that began and
ended in Europe. The first leg of the voyage carried a cargo that often included
iron, cloth, brandy, firearms, and gunpowder. Upon landing on Africa’s “slave
coast,” the cargo was exchanged for Africans. Fully loaded with its human cargo,
the ship set sail for the Americas, where the slaves were exchanged for sugar,
tobacco, or some other product. The final leg brought the ship back to
Europe.

The slaves were branded with hot irons and restrained with shackles. Their
“living quarters” was often a deck within the ship that had less than five feet
of headroom — and throughout a large portion of the deck, sleeping shelves cut
this limited amount of headroom in half.4 Lack of standing headroom was the
least of the slaves’ problems, though. With 300 to 400 people packed in a tiny
area5 — an area with little ventilation and, in some cases, not even enough
space to place buckets for human waste — disease was prevalent. According to
Equiano, “The closeness of the place, and the heat of the climate, added to the
number in the ship, which was so crowded that each had scarcely room to turn
himself, almost suffocated us. This produced copious perspirations, so that the
air soon became unfit for respiration, from a variety of loathsome smells, and
brought on a sickness among the slaves, of which many died.”

Award-winning African American playwright August Wilson creates the idea of a “City of Bones” in his famed century cycle, which are ten plays spanning the 20th century that depict the African American experience in the Hill district of Pittsburgh. In this interview, Wilson talks about the city of bones and its relation to Citizen, one of the characters from Gem of the Ocean:

“Those bones,” August Wilson will tell you, “are symbolically representative ofthe Africans who were lost during the Middle Passage”—the voyage of slaves from Africa to the Sea Islands and other destinations—“those whose ships sank into the ocean, the Africans who never made it to America. We find out through the course of the play what it is Citizen has done, and why he did this. Aunt Ester leads him to the answer. He has to find out what his duty is, and through that he can be redeemed.” 

Here are some images of slaves, slave ships, and the city of bones:

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Below is a painting by J. M. W. Turner called The Slave Ship or Slavers Throwing Overboard the Dead and Dying — Typhon Coming On (1840), as well as a close-up of an area of detail in the same painting.

And an excerpt from a poem that Turner wrote which was shown in tandem with the painting.

“Aloft all hands, strike the top-masts and belay;
Yon angry setting sun and
fierce-edged clouds
Declare the Typhon’s coming.
Before it sweeps your
decks, throw overboard
The dead and dying – ne’er heed their chains
Hope,
Hope, fallacious Hope!
Where is thy market now?”

More background on the painting can be found here.

No Free Nights Here

ALINE: Don’t let him fool you, Clive got his associates last year in hotel management.

CLIVE: Can’t get you any free nights, though.

So what is an associate’s degree in hotel management? Education Portal tells what an associate’s degree in hospitality management (which includes hotel management) is, its typical classes, and future career options:

Associate of Applied Science in Hospitality Management

Hospitality management degree programs include the study of theoretical and practical management skills, hospitality business law and food and beverage management. Students also develop skills in marketing, purchasing, budgeting and cost control. A.A.S. degree programs typically require high school diplomas or the equivalent. Although many entry-level management positions in the hospitality industry do not require a degree, post-secondary education is helpful for career advancement.

Program Coursework

A.A.S. degrees in hospitality management typically require 64-66 hours of coursework, although some programs may require as many as 96 credit hours. At most schools, roughly one-third of credit hours are devoted to general education credits.

  • Food safety and sanitation
  • Hotel management
  • Restaurant management
  • Hotel and restaurant marketing
  • Hospitality accounting
  • Food production analysis
  • Hotel and restaurant purchasing and cost control

Popular Career Options

Associate degrees in hospitality management typically prepare students for entry-level positions. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov), lodging management is projected to grow faster than other areas of the hospitality management field between 2006 and 2016.

  • Management trainee
  • Dining room supervisor
  • Assistant food and beverage manager
  • Guest services manager
  • Banquet sales coordinator

Continuing Education Information

Many hospitality management associate degree programs can act as a stepping-stone to bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in hospitality management. Graduates with B.A.A. or M.S. degrees in hospitality management are highly sought within the field because of their technical familiarity, and many rise to the highest levels of management within hospitality organizations.

Here’s an example of the curriculum of an associate’s degree in hospitality management at a local Boston college.

Re-Fi for Beginners

DAVE: All these papers?  You’re either a professor or a lawyer.
ALINE: Thanks for helping—
DAVE: Which is it?
ALINE: Thanks for helping.
DAVE: I say, I say think of the trees. 
ALINE: I’m…I’m refinancing.
DAVE: Like the Lorax.

Aline’s had her condo for at least five years, but her long term boyfriend Clive has moved out, and she’s changing jobs. It’s time to refinance that sucker. So what does that mean?

SFGate’s Home Guide provides this useful summary:

People get mortgages to make home purchases possible, but falling interest rates and other economic factors might spur borrowers to look for ways to save money on the loans. Refinancing provides an option for homeowners to reduce monthly payments or pay less interest over the course of the loan.

Refinancing means basically applying for a loan all over again. Lenders require new home appraisals for refinance transactions, even if the original appraisal is only a few years old. They also generally require verification of employment, family income and ongoing debts. A caveat in the refinance process is that any changes to the applicant’s status since the approval of the original loan reveal themselves. Recent drops in savings accounts, for example, might serve as red flags for lenders.

Refinancing trades the original loan for another loan with rates and terms that better serve the financial interests of the homeowner. Borrowers can choose between 15- and 30-year terms, and fixed vs. variable interest rate loans.

Benefits of refinancing include saving money on monthly mortgage payments, which can free a homeowner from burdensome or sometimes unaffordable loans. The lower payments homeowners make after refinancing free up cash for them to save or spend on other necessities. When owners change a 30-year mortgage to a 15-year mortgage, they potentially save thousands of dollars in interest over the life of the loan. Refinancing an adjustable-rate mortgage into a fixed-rate loan provides homeowners the security of an interest rate that locks in and stays the same over the loan term. Their new monthly mortgage amount stays the same, too, over the life of the loan.

Refinancing has fees associated with it, so owners must spend enough time in the home to recoup the investment they made with the savings gained by refinancing. Those considering selling in a few years might be better off just sticking with the mortgage they currently have.

mortgage refi

Realtor.com urges you to watch out for the following potential obstacles to the re-fi:

Four potential problems you might face:

– You just refinanced a short while ago.
– Your credit score has gone down.
– You missed a payment on your current mortgage.
– You moved out of your home, making it an investment home.

If you just got a mortgage loan, you will need to wait before refinancing. Some lenders will allow you to refinance after one year, others will want a longer period. On the whole, lenders don’t like the idea that you are refinancing often. They make their money on longer term mortgage loans.

If your credit score went down, you might not be eligible to refinance. Or if you are able to, the rates might not be as favorable for you. Lenders give better rates to borrowers with excellent credit.

If you have recently missed even one payment on your mortgage, you probably will not be eligible for a mortgage for a year or two. Not only will your credit score plummet, but lenders especially look at your mortgage history when considering a loan for you. They worry that if you missed a payment once, it could become a pattern. It makes them nervous.

 

A Feeling of Drowning & Surfacing

In the course of the play, water takes a central imagistic role — sometimes it’s a stand-in for peace and calm, other times it’s explicitly a marker of death by drowning. Director Shawn LaCount has said that all the characters in the play feel, at some point, the pressure and need for air that a person caught underwater would encounter. They are all looking for a way to swim, to succeed, to deal with the circumstances of their lives. Only Anthony finds his way to the surface; Fran and Nicole may reach it as well. There are moments where each character might have the potential to surface, to breathe again, and moments where the pressure nearly crushes them.

A selective list of water images evoked throughout the play: the Middle Passage; Davey’s drowning; Mike’s implied trauma in the water connected to Davey’s death; the feeling of invincibility in the water quickly transformed to mortality; Anthony’s love of the “black hole” in the harbor beyond the lighthouse; the way Lisa hears water sometimes; the way the lighthouse and harbor feel peaceful to Anthony and Nicole; the implication that the most expensive houses in town are the ones nearest the water; Aline’s feeling that the ocean is peaceful; Lisa’s Caribbean vacation….

Scenic Designer Cristina Todesco and Lighting Designer Jen Rock are also playing with the feeling of water, and of light filtering through water, as a component of the play in production.

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The work of  artist Jason De Caires Taylor is particularly evocative here. He creates concrete statues of people in everyday positions, installs them underwater, and waits for corals to create sculptural reefs. His installations change in shape and color over time, but the human forms remain.

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On the feeling of drowning…

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Anthony, surfacing…

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